Sep 12 2011 12:06pm

Firsts in Fantasy: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (and Why You Should Read It)

Fate, I observe somewhat unoriginally, is a funny thing – in both the strange and the ha-ha flavors. This is just as true in real life as it is in stories, though the dialogue in the stories generally tends to be a bit more polished.

I am continually both amused and bemused, therefore, whenever I think about how there’s a person out there who, by saying two short sentences to me, is ultimately responsible for shaping a huge portion of my life – my friends, my interests, my travels, my experiences, and even my career.

And I have absolutely no idea who this person is. And I never will.

He will forever only be that random guy in the University bookstore on Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas who, sometime in 1997, paused in the science fiction/fantasy aisle next to an equally random girl staring at the shelves in total indecision, just long enough to point at a thick mass-market paperback with a blue-toned cover and say:

“You should try that one. It’s really good.”

And I did. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I am, of course, not going to make the claim that The Eye of the World and the series it begins will have nearly as profound an effect on other people as it has on me; I will be the first to admit that my life trajectory vis-à-vis the Wheel of Time has been… unique. (If not quite so unique as some.) But it’s oddly appropriate to contemplate that capricious turn of fortune in my own life concerning this book, because the vagaries of fate is precisely what the story of The Eye of the World is hinged upon. Or perhaps I should say Fate, because the capital letter is definitely warranted in this case.

And as you know, Bob, if there is one thing we like to read about in the genre of epic fantasy, it is Fate.

It’s what we crave from stories, that sense of pattern recognition. We want to find the signal amidst the noise, the synchronicity in the randomness; we want the reassurance that (at least in the story) it all means something, maaaan.

And in that sense, The Eye of the World more than delivers. It would not be too far-fetched to suggest, in fact, that this need for pattern recognition, for the existence of Fate, whether you be accepting of it or railing against it, is the entire point of the novel, and indeed of the entire series.

The author, Robert Jordan, began the story in this novel, as he did in every book following it, with the image of wind. Wind: an invisible but palpable — and inescapable — force, in other words, an unpredictable and ever-varying phenomenon that begins and ends, but at the same time is eternal and unending. There may be more powerful representations of the concept of Fate out there than this, but I’d be hard-pressed to come up with one off the top of my head.

And the story he crafted with that image — a group of seemingly ordinary young men and women, swept without volition into a much vaster and more dangerous world than they could have imagined, to learn how their decidedly extraordinary destinies were tangled with each other and with the world at large — is as quintessentially satisfying as any story that wears the label of “epic fantasy” I’ve ever come across, and a great deal more so than many, in my opinion.

It’s a story that is almost ridiculously simple in premise: what would it be like if Fate tapped you on the shoulder one day and said, Hey, guess what? You get to be the savior of the world! Sucks to be you! Yet this simple premise becomes, in this series, astonishingly complex in execution, built as it is on an intensely satisfying imagined world that is frankly staggering in its depth and attention to detail and internal consistency and sheer volume.

The Eye of the World, in fact, was almost a throwback, when it was originally published, in how directly and unabashedly it fulfilled (and exemplified) the fantasy tropes we all know and love. It is not a deconstruction of fantasy or a post-modern commentary on fantasy, it’s just — fantasy, straight up, no chaser. With all the portent, intrigue, battles, prophecies, magic, fantastic creatures, heroes, villains, cast-of-thousands, good-vs.-evil, Fate-of-the-world-itself drama that implies. And that is why it is awesome.

It is awesome for that and many other reasons. Because it is an homage to that great icon of epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, without being a ripoff of it. Because it has female characters who are as richly realized and as central to the plot as the male characters. Because it is rife with those wonderful moments of paradigm shift that are my favorite thing in speculative fiction, where the characters are forced to confront something scary/extraordinary/beyond the normal, not just about the world around them but about themselves. Because if you don’t read the last six or so chapters in one sitting, with your heart in your throat the whole time, there may be something wrong with your heart-throat suspense detector thingy.

This is all in my opinion, of course. But I have already proven that sometimes the opinion of a random stranger can be the best thing that ever happened to you, at least when it comes to trying new books.

Ergo, sez me, you could do worse than to listen to me when I stand next to you in this metaphorical bookstore aisle, lean over conspiratorially, and say:

You see this book, The Eye of the World? You should try it. It’s really good.

Leigh Butler is a writer and blogger for, where, among other things, she conducts the blog series The Wheel of Time Re-Read, which you should totally check out once you’ve gotten hooked and read the whole series, mwah-ha-ha. She currently lives in New Orleans.

Kate Nepveu
1. katenepveu
My mom brought me the free sample edition of _TEotW_ from the bookstore, so say what you will about the covers, it clearly said "this is a fantasy book of the kind you don't understand but your daughter likes" to her.

I often wondered, while she was fretting about me hanging out with weird Internet people, whether she regretted that. Now that she's got one grandkid out of it and another on the way, though, not so much. =>
Dr. Thanatos
2. Dr. Thanatos
I discovered this series when the massive paperback version of EOTW came out; while I can't say that I was swept off my feet, and I would be remiss if I didn't admit to getting glaze-eyed every time there was an in-depth analysis of j'itoh, I do appreciate it's depth and lack of fear of playing on archetypes, as well as the cleverness with which RJ integrated references, visual puns, etc The way RJ allows moments of fun to intersperse with the melodrama is very nicely done.

Can't say that it would work as an introduction to fantasy literature for a mundane; but once one has one's toes in that ocean this is a major necessity.

And I must point out, as a physician, the need to invent a decongestant in Randland for all the sniffing that the female characters keep doing.

PS Robert Jordan invented the concept of Aes Sedai weasel talk; I keep that in mind every time someone quotes him as contradicting the internal evidence of "Taimandred." And furthermore, Asmodean was killed by Tevildo, Lord of Cats ; Grandael was framed...
Steve Hussey
3. deihbhussey
Interesting two sentences. Always nice to look back and think about how a few worlds can have such lasting effects. Another reason I endeavor, though I don't always succeed, to be positive and understanding in all my interactions with people.

I remember seeing Eye of the World during one of my foray's to the bookstore with my mum in 91 or 92 (DR had just come out). I liked the cover so I got my her to get it for me (I was 13, ergo, little cash). After breezing through the book and begging for the next two in the series, I think I speed read through tGH & DR so fast that it still seemed like FOREVER before Shadow Rising came out near the end of 92. Of course, I never would have imagined the length of time I'd be waiting for later books. Glad I'm patient and enjoy endless re-reads. ;-)
Dr. Thanatos
4. Pam B
I was in the midst of grad school, also working full time, in the early 90s, and my son's friend had been trying to get him to read the books. Instead I read them, the first 3 that semester (when I should have been studying for my M.L.S.!) That son never did read the books, but his younger brother loves them, too!
Dave West
6. Jhirrad
I started reading this back in 1994. I had been reading the Heritage of Shannara series, and a friend of mine scoffed and said if I want to read some truly EPIC fantasy, I should read this book by Jordan. I stopped by my local used bookstore one day and happened across it. I went home, started reading, and the next thing I know I'm almost 200 pages in and completely engrossed. I later found myself risking driving in a flood to get The Dragon Reborn and paying $40 for taxi fare to get to and from a bookstore to pick up The Fires of Heaven. After years of re-reads while in the military, in college in 2002, I was granted a research grant to study the series, looking both at the use of historical mythology in the books (Norse and Arthurian were my primary focuses, though I recognized many others) as well as the creation of a modern mythology. For many, many years I was a highly active member of (yes, I'm THAT Jhirrad for those that were around long enough ago to remember me) and can say without a shadow of a doubt that this book series has changed lives in ways incalcuable.

Regardless of whether you are a Jordan uber fan like me, or a detractor (and I'll admit to problems in later books), for those who read this series, it is world-changing. I have met some of my closest friends through WoT. As an adult in the business world, I take days off from work to read the new installments when they come out. That's right, I actually schedule vacation days for it. And all so I can know what's happening in the lives of these characters that I have been enthralled by. Their Fate and the Fate of their world is something which has changed my world - without a doubt for the better.
Mari Ness
7. MariCats
I also had this book recommended to me by a random person in a bookstore (at the late and lamented Waldenbooks in North Miami Beach) with one slight difference in the recommendation:


And I believed him, all the way through the first book. Five chapters into the second book, not so much.
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
In years past, there was one very good reason not to read The Eye of the World and that was because you'd become hooked (like me) waiting for the next book.

Fortunately, with the last book on the horizon (presumably next spring) and with plenty of books in between, I can now recommend picking up the series without any qualifiers!
Marcus W
9. toryx
The first time I ever heard of The Eye of the World was in Denver, Colorado in the Tattered Bookcover. It was just after the book's initial release and it was prominately displayed in the Sci-Fi/ Fantasy section.

I was on a budget at the time and I basically had a choice between buying 2 smaller paperbacks or just EotW. It was such a hard choice because as beautiful as the cover was (and I really did think it was beautiful at the time) it didn't actually say anything about what the book was about.

I spent about thirty minutes agonizing whether or not to get it in the hopes that it was actually going to be good or choose two books that I knew I'd like. In the end, I ended up buying two Asimov paperbacks instead.

That cover kept nagging at me, though, and eventually I broke down and bought it at a B. Dalton's in Colorado Spring.

I enjoyed it for a while, and then got bored with the story after the characters fled from Baerlon. It reminded me far too much of The Lord of the Rings at that point. So it ended up on the floor at the foot of my bed until my little brother got a puppy who promptly peed on it.

Eventually I got stuck with nothing interesting to read and found EotW moldering away under my bed, smelling strongly of dog urine. And because I was bored, I just sprayed it with deodorant and started over.

The second time, dog pee and all, finally hooked me. Back in those days, though, I wasn't sure that there'd actually be a second book to the series. I was pleased and surprised a few months later on a trip to a bookstore in Colorado Springs to find The Great Hunt had just been published. I snatched it up and read it in about two days and even then I wasn't sure there'd be another book.

The Dragon Reborn finally settled me in for good and all. Ever after I bought a brand new hardcover on publication date until Path of Daggers.

A Memory of Light has been a long time coming for me.
Cassandra Cookson
10. cass
I remember buying this book in my last year of graduate school because the cover looked great. It was the last time I thought that about a Sweet cover. It was the trade paperback version and it sat on my shelf for several years unread because well, grad school and then a teaching job, and then writing lectures and grading and so on. Then I got sick. Nasty bit of tonsillitis as I remember. Couldn't work, too weak to go out once my fever broke, so I dug into the bookcase and pulled it out. The next day I hauled over to the bookstore still weaving a bit and bought_The Great Hunt_. _The Dragon Reborn_ as I found out the next weekend had just been published in hardcover. Tore through that. And then realized I was hooked and I really needed to know how the series went and what happened to everyone.

It was my first real foray into the online world too. I didn't have a university id anymore and AOL was about the only option for dialup. (Didn't realize my phone bill would get that huge) AOL had a forum for Jordan's books and a lot more besides. I also heard from my sisters still at TAMU about this thing called Usenet and rec.arts.sf.written. Started lurking and reading there and then followed the group created for Robert Jordan. It's a shame that group died, but it's been interesting to see where people ended up going afterwards. I never met any of these folks in person and I didn't participate much on the threads (mostly read them after a long teaching day), but I see Erica Sadun's articles in the Mac and tech worlds, read Chad Orzel's blog, and Kate Nepveu's reading blog and her LOTR reread here and I also remember Leigh Butler hitting the newsgroup like a small but pleasant tornado. (around 97-98?) It's been a great series and a big enjoyment for me online. I am deeply saddened for the loss of James Rigney and that he was not able to complete his life's work. But what a work it was and is.
Tudza White
11. tudzax1
I'll weigh in and say I read the first book and didn't think it was all that special.
Dr. Thanatos
12. Greg Burrus
I recently (07 or 08) found out about WOT from a friend who saw I was reading/listening Harry Potter. He compared the main character saying that the main guy (Rand) was not a "punk" like Potter. Not sure if that is what was really made me get EOTW after recgonizing the tite in the book store and seeing a cool cover but ever since I have been reading the WOT series and enjoying it ever since.

At the ninth book now (even though I took a break for a while) I feel fully into the series and pretty much all of the fandom minus forums which I haven't ventured to yet. I even have two bumper sticks on my wall from comic-con that says "I killed Asmodean" & "Bella is Darkfriend". To make matters worst I've even missed my train stop going all the way to the end of the line just reading the book...

I'm usally not one for fandom or books too much either but I have become one for this series it seems. I would recomend it for sure for any one into fantasy, adventure, or just a great story.
Dr. Thanatos
13. Gentleman Farmer
My experience was much like that of toryx. A friend recommended the book, but had never read LOTR. I wasn't snooty about non-Tolkien fantasy (I think I was enjoying a David Eddings series at the time), but a few pages in, I wrote the book off as a Tolkien rip-off and put it away.

It wasn't until two years later, when I was at the beach with nothing to read that I picked it up again. The whole first ten or fifteen chapters seemed interminable, and I put the book down and went to a bookstore around the Baerlon portion desscribed above. Fortunately I guess, I couldn't find anything else I was interested in, so continued on reading.

It's funny because now when I re-read the series, I really enjoy the first portion of the first book, find all kinds of neat things to like about it and feel like it's a pretty unique and interesting story. I give the foregoing as background, however, so if there are new readers they recognize they may need to give it a couple hundred pages before it really captures you.

For me, once the backstory of Shadar Logoth was explained I was sufficiently intrigued to keep reading and I've not been disappointed since. And at least up until Winter's Heart came out, if I felt like I was out of reading material, I usually would go back to Eye of the World and start the whole series again.
Captain Hammer
14. Randalator
I discovered WoT all by my lonesome. I had been reading my way through the Fantasy/SciFi department in our local library for years when in the summer of 1997 I finally picked up that series which was already a staggering 15 volumes at that time (that's almost 6 WoT books in North American).

Problem is, I thought it was a series of standalone novels in a specific universe like Star Wars, Star Trek, Battle Tech, Discworld or what have you. So I randomly picked up volume 7 which just happened to be the first volume of The Shadow Rising and started reading...which didn't end well.

At first I went "Okay, no clue what is happening, but that will sort itself out. Lots of funny words here...", which soon led to "What is this I don't even? And there's even more funny words here." and ultimately ended with "HELP!" at around page 60 or 70. Obviously, I didn't finish the book...

However, smart as I is in brain of mine head interior, I figured out that it must be an ongoing series so when the spring holidays came and I needed books for a two-week vacation I picked up volume 1 and 2 and tried again...which also didn't end well. But a completely different "not well", you know, the good "not well".

The two books (equaling EotW) lasted for all of 4 days. By the end of the year I had devoured all 19 existing volumes (ACoS minus the last quarter), started re-reading them and I continued reading them over and over until finally around the year 2000 I got increasingly annoyed with the mistakes in the German translation brought about (among other things) by a change of translators. Which was particularly annoying because despite knowing only standard grammar school English, I could identify most of the mistakes, deduce the original English version and find the appropriate German translation. And I'm not even starting with the contextual errors like turning Renee Harfor from First Maid to "First Maiden of the Spear" because that's twenty shades of wrong and a clear indication that the translator and editor have no clue what they are working on.

Suffice it to say that if a 20-year-old fresh out of grammar school can recognize from the translation alone that the translator initially confused 'maid' with 'maiden' and things just went kablooie from there on out, something is decidedly not right.

Long story short, at that point followed what could be described as a rage quit and despite having bought all 23 volumes in the series so far and having read them at least 4 times, I decided to switch to the original English books and buy them all over again. A decision I never regretted...
Jim Millen
15. jim.millen
Ah, happy memories... :-) I was already well into SF & Fantasy by the time I picked up tEotW. Being a quick reader, I'd already gone through pretty much everything on the shelves of my local libraries but had been avoiding the WOT books - entirely down to the covers! They looked to me like the worse cutesy-cute sort of fantasy - and as a teenager, I didn't want to be seen in public reading that sort of thing.

Finally though, in desperation as I ran out of anything else to read, I gave tEotW a go, and within the first 50 pages was thinking "Why the **** didn't I start these earlier!". Absolutely loved it and tore through the series - which IIRC was about up to LoC by that point? And then... Oh boy, the waiting... If only I'd known how much more of that there was to look forward to!

I can only agree with everything Leigh has said about the book; it's refreshing to remember quite how engrossing tEotW was the first time around. It's a wonderful example of how fantasy doesn't have to be dark, or edgy, or brutal, to tell a captivating story.

I'm also one of those who has WOT to thank for my introduction to online communities, namely r.a.sf.w.r-j. Once I discovered that group, and the WOTFAQ... wow. I was blown away - not only that all these other guys & gals were as crazy about the books as I was, but that there was such depth of discussion and detail. (Even the flamewars were, by today's standards, civil.) I feel lucky to have experienced r.a.sf.w.r-j - when I consider where else I could have ended up on the Internet, it was a bloody amazing community to find, and like cass @10 I still enjoy reading the blogs & articles of many old Darkfriends now.
Rich Bennett
16. Neuralnet
You all will laugh, but I bought these books in 1991 or 92, and at the time I had a strict rule to ONLY buy completed series, since I hate waiting for the next book in a series to come out. I picked the first three books up at one time and thought "great, a new trilogy to read"... because all fantasy has to be a trilogy right (LOL). I guess I just didnt look closely at the Dragon Reborn to see that it wasnt the end of the series... I consider this one of lifes jokes on me, since now I have spent ~20 years waiting for the next book to come out.

I was immediately struck by the promenence of the female characters... these werent just side character/love interests. Also, the magic system was fresh (what, no spell books?), and I loved the sword forms description. It instantly became my favorite series. I also love the depth of the world and numerous subplots. I have recommended this series to countless friends. Many of whom only got into fantasy literature after reading Harry Potter and wanted something a little more grown up. It was one of the first series that I noticed a lot of my female friends and relatives reading. I think it really introduced a diverse group of adults into fantasy literature. It was the first series for me that I can remember where I used the internet to follow what was going on/various theories. I remember sitting on AOL reading a Robert Jordan chat thinking... "you know, this whole internet thing just might catch on"

It definitely has its flaws, but the Wheel of Time will always be my favorite series.
Melissa Shumake
17. cherie_2137
i can remember being in the adult section of the library (i was in fifth or sixth grade at the time) wondering what i should read next, looking at the books with the unicorn sticker indicative of "fantasy (and sci-fi)" on the spines. i had grown up with my mom reading me lotr and had blasted through most of eddings's stuff by that time, but was still into non-fantasy stuff like nancy drew and the babysitters club. and then i picked up teotw, and i haven't really looked back. every so often, i read some other genre, but this hooked me for the rest of my life, and fantasy is about all i read, and recommend to others (except for req'd school readings...)
Michael Maxwell
18. pike747
I came to the series late, both timewise and bookwise, TDR was my first. Read it while in county jail in 2001 and they had all of the first seven available.
Loved it from the first and have only grown to love it more. I like many of the books that others seem not to.
EotW contains one of my favorite scenes, Rand overhearing Lan and Nynaeve in the blight. I am really glad that I didn't have to wait for each publication.
It is very cool to read all of your comments and learn how deeply you have been into the series and the comraderie over the years. These blogs are new to me and I really enjoy them. Leigh, you have a way with words and infusing them with your personality!
To all of the other contributors I am so impressed with your intelligence and insight. I was really pumped for the release of ToM and am looking forward to a similar buildup with all of you for AMoL.
Dr. Thanatos
19. Super Scotty
My oldest brother read the first chapter to my brothers and me in a dark room. Lonely road, scary guy with a cloak that the wind didn't touch, words and feelings from Rand to which I could connect. I was 11, and I was hooked.
Chin Bawambi
20. bawambi
I picked up the series a few years after everyone else (just before FOH). While my first love will always be Tolkien (I read the Hobbit followed by LOTR every year) I think that WoT is the next evolution of high-fantasy. I was hooked from the beginning and by the time I finished TGH I went and bought TDR and TSR because my buddy who introduced me to the series was taking too long to read them. I loved the fact that there were so many websites related to the series as I could explore nuances I didn't see to my hearts content. I am always amazed by the civility of the discussion boards on the various topics that the series brings up.
Dr. Thanatos
21. MickeyDee
LOLs Neuralnet @16
I got handed the three books by my boss back in the Summer of 91/92. He knew I was heading down the beach for the Christmas break with the (then) girlfriend and our newborn son for a few weeks and thought that I'd probably be able to churn through them before the New Year. I was thouroughly hooked.
And when I got back to work we'd disappear down to the pub to discuss them over a beer or three. I laugh at how I insisted that it would take Jordan two more books to tell the story. And how ridiculous I thought my boss was for opining that it would take another four to do the story justice. Seven books? Pfffft! The man was crazy from dehydration. No story would need up to seven books to tell. Time to order another round of beers!
Ian B
23. Greyfalconway
I got interested when I was 12 and riding in the car with my dad on a trip somewhere. He had one of them on book on tape, and while drifting in and out of sleep in the passenger seat I heard things like Tar Valon witches and some sort of magic, and seeing as how I was obsessed with Harry Potter at the time, I immediately made him get me the first three on the way home.

I had just moved here to florida and had absolutely no friends yet, and dreaded school, so I made up being really deathly sick (I only had a cold/growing pains) and read the first three in one sitting (laying) while getting food brought in to me and everything while missing school =] Then I had him go get me the other ones and just kept reading for about two weeks before finishing and going back to school.

This series has been like close friends or family to me, and even if they aren't my favorite books, and they aren't my favorite authors, they're my favorite characters and settings, and I love the series more than any other, despite any of the flaws. I haven't waited as long for new books as alot of you have (I'm only 21) but they were there in all the terrible spots in my life, and mean so much to me.
Rob Munnelly
24. RobMRobM
Series pushed on me for many years by one of my friends - I finally bit and devoured all of the books in a month, happily finishing just before the start of Leigh's re-read. Very enjoyable series - Mat in particular is one of my top 3 characters in all SFF.

Jonathan Levy
25. JonathanLevy
I honestly can't remember how I got my hands on TEOTW. It must have been around 93-94. I was neck-deep into fantasy and science fiction books, having cleaned out my neighborhood library, and the main branch, and having spent all my allowance in Barnes & Noble.

But then we moved outside the USA, and my sources of new books had dried up. When my father went to the states on business, I gave him a list of books, and I remember with clarity the knee-high tower waiting for me in my room after school. It contained books 2-5 (amongst others). LoC came soon after, and ACOS was the first one I had to wait for.

Unlike a few others, I was hooked on the first read, but it wasn't until TSR that it dawned on me that this series was head and shoulders above the rest, and was going to be my favorite for a very long time.

I knew about the newsgroup from friends, but wasn't at all part of it. The FAQ was a wonderful thing to discover, however - it put things in order in my head, and helped me realize the incrediple depth of the series.

It's great to hear how some of the familiar names in the threads found their way to the series.
26. graftonio
My Dad had just bought The Dragon Reborn when I started reading The Eye of the World. While Eye was good The Great Hunt really let me down a bit at the time but TDR got hooked.

This is the series that took me from Brooks and Eddings into the much more "grown-up" settings where really bad things may happen to your favorite character and there isn't a crotchety old wizard around to save the hero whenever he does something dumb.
Brent Longstaff
27. Brentus
I've read through the series twice now (1-9 the first time and 0-13 the second. I'm looking forward to my first complete read-through! I'm waiting for Brandon Sanderson to give the 6 month warning. I use audiobooks so it takes a while. The audiobooks are brilliant by the way. I recommend them.

I do hope that eventually Brandon gets to write the rest of the New Spring trilogy, just so we get more continuity straight through the story.
Mo -
28. Astus
Nice read, Leigh. Nice to know that despite the fact that there are people who sniff, tug their braids and straighten their shawls at the mention of the Wheel of Time, that there is an equal amount who love and cherish it.

I'm a relatively late comer into the series being that I was born the year that the tEotW came out haha. Only got into the series around '05 when I was looking for a couple of books to hold me over until the next in the series that I was reading was due out. Turns out I got more invested in the hold outs! They were the split versions (From the Two Rivers + To The Blight) and it wasn't really until I really got stuck into TGH that I became really invested into the series.

My first epic series!
Claire de Trafford
29. Booksnhorses
My aunt got me the free sample which hooked me; I was young enough not to be overly put off by the Tolkein influences. In the later books I fell slightly out of love with Rand, and definitely with Perrin and went through a few books skipping the boys' chapters except for Mat. Luckily there's been enough time for me to re-read them many times and learn to love Rand again, but it took Leigh's Tor read to get me through the Plotline of Doooom and I'll still be ok with Perrin not making it through AMOL.

The series has its flaws, I won't mention them again here, but its main narrative drive and flair brings me back to the books time and again. I'm so grateful that Brandon will finish the series and may the light shine on Robert Jordan.
Amir Noam
30. Amir
Excellent post and topic :-)

I've read The Eye of the World some time in the late 90's (96? 97?).

At the time, based on my limited familiarity with the genre, I've devided fantasy literature in my head into two broad categories - high epic fantasy (namely, The Lord of the Rings), and more "childish" fantasy (e.g. Dragonlance, The Belgariad, etc.) which, while enjoyable and entertaining, I could not consider as litereary masterpieces.

And then a friend (thanks, Jonathan!) has suggested I try The Eye of the World, and I was really impressed with the story, the characters, the world, you name it. It took me a while to get through all the books published at the time (especially as I needed at times to wait for an opportunity to ask someone travelling abroad to buy the next book for me). So, I only had to stop and wait for a next book to be published after reading book 8 (The Path of Daggers).

To pass the time, I started searching online for more information on the series and quicly found the WOTFAQ (then maintained by Pam Korda). The FAQ really opened my eyes to some of the hidden layers in the books - theories that I've never even considered while reading. Believe it or not, I've never re-read any of the books in the series, not even once. Being a non-native English speaker means that it takes me quite a while to read books of this length. Fortunatley, even so many years later, I still manage to remember most of the relevant details from the earlier books (a lot of this thanks to the FAQ).

The FAQ lead me to Usenet, and for the next several years, I closely followed the r.a.sf.w.r-j newsgroup. I started by just reading the on topic threads, but quickly found out that the real gems were all the TANgential discussions. As others have remarked above, the newsgroup was an impressive collection of highly intelligent, witty and funny people (even including the Humblest Man on the Net). The discussions were almost always well mannered and thought provoking.

As much as I've enjoyed reading The Wheel of Time, I feel that the real benefit that I've received from the series was the exposure to the r.a.sf.w.r-j online community. Similar to cass@10, I've mostly lurked in the group and didn't participate much (and never had a chance to travel to one of the Dark Friend Socials), but I've followed from time to time the blogs of some of the old time regulars (Kate, Leigh, etc.). In fact, it was by following Leigh's livejournal that I found out about her *little* re-read project here on (And this also allowed me to repay a favor and introduce the re-read back to Jonathan, who was the one to introduce me to the series all these years ago :-) )

Wow. That turned out longer than I expected. Thank you all who have ever posted on the old newsgroup, from all of us lurkers.
James Hogan
33. Sonofthunder
Oh yes. Lovely article, Leigh!!

And as for me, I also am a fairly recent convert to WoT. I think my first exposure was back in 2005(was that when KoD came out?), and I remember seeing a big display of fantasy-ish books with really lame covers. I even remember thinking, "Wow, I can't believe people actually buy those...probably one of those series that is really popular for no good reason." And I promptly didn't think about WoT again for another 3 years.

Then in 2008 one of my friends from church started talking to me about how awesome this fantasy series was. He showed me one of the books, but again I dismissed it. Then a few weeks later, I was over at his house and saw Crown of Swords on the table next to the couch. Everyone else in the house was busy prepping dinner or playing I sat down and promptly got distracted reading the prologue and into the first chapter. I remember thinking that Elaida seemed like a jerk, although her palace sounded like it would be pretty amazing. I remember thinking that Niall seemed like a pretty cool guy - I couldn't wait to see what his message contained. And then HE DIED. Whoa. And then we got the Dumai's Wells flashback with Sevanna, only I didn't know it was a flashback. And I assumed Sevanna was on the "good side". And I was very confused with regards to Wise Ones, Maidens, etc. But wow, this was good writing. And I was hooked. I finally got awoken to reality by my friend, who then gave me the first two books. I think I had them finished in a week, whereupon I promptly got him to give me TDR. And a week or so later, I bought every single book at a giant library book sale. All of them(sans Knife of Dreams, which I didn't know about) for only $16! I promptly made it through the whole series in a couple of months, slowing down a bit through the end.

I finished sometime in January and soon thereafter stumbled upon Leigh's re-read and was promptly introduced into the larger world of fandom! And while I don't think I'm quite as dedicated as some of you all(I feel put to shame sometimes by all your knowledge!!), this is without doubt one of my favorite series of all time. TDR is currently my bedtime reading(3rd time, I think!). And my youngest sister is currently reading through the series.

My story isn't as dramatic as all of yours, and I haven't been waiting for the end as long, but oh what a series!! No other author's writing provides me such bliss and enjoyment when reading(although Rothfuss and Rowling come close!!)
Marcus W
34. toryx
I just figured out why I never saw Leigh posting online back in the newsgroup days. By the time she got started, I'd already read, contributed and left the online groups and moved on to other things.

Jeez, do I feel old.
Rich Bennett
35. Neuralnet
Another thought... In a weird sort of way I think that having to wait for the next book in the series has made me love the WoT even more. Usually I try to only read a series as the last book comes out and even if the series is really good, I read it and then am done... move on to the next thing. With WoT (and Harry Potter) I think part of the allure is that you have to wait for the next book so the series stays in the back of your mind for years and you end up checking out the rereads/theory sites while you wait. The wait for the next book turns you into a more obsessive fan.
WOT Dragons
36. WOTNoDragons
I was in my local book store in about '94 or 5 - looking for a really meaty new SFF read. I think I'd just finished Feist's Magician series and I wanted to find something that would keep me thoroughly occupied for quite a while. I should say that I'm not sure if I actually prefer to read quite slowly or if it's only because I don't have so much time, but when I saw 6 pristine volumes of the Wheel of Time on sale, my first thought was that this will keep me out the pub for a good old while. (Needed to save cash.) On reading the blurb and making a quick scan of the first few pages of teotw, I remember thinking, 'hello - this looks interesting;’- dark lord, (check) nasty baddies, (check) magic stuff going on, (check) cool map at the front, (check) mention of dragons (double check) and so on. A lot like Neuralnet @ 15, (LoL) I then made a decision based on a massive assumption: that I was considering purchasing a complete double trilogy! (hexology?)

I bought all 6 books & was totally hooked from the moment I'd finished the eotw prologue; I just couldn't put the remaining books down. By the time I'd finished LoC, I was in a bit of a reactive depression; how long was the next book going to take to come out? What the hell was I supposed to do in the meantime? I'd never gone on-line, so I didn't realize how much WOT discussion I was missing - I wish I had now.

When in '96 I saw a new RJ book was on the shelf at my local store, I squeed (inwardly) - like a teen fan girl at a concert, but only to be utterly crushed a moment later when I saw that it was a Conan story! I couldn't believe it! I know its a bit disingenuous to think it, but I can't help wondering if RJ might have got closer to finishing his magnum octopus if it wasn't for being drawn into writing his Conan stories. (I still haven't read them - although I hear they're rather good)

However, with years of hindsight, I can see that Nuralnet is right, in that waiting for the next book in a beloved series does make you a more obsessive fan and that ultimately, the reward is well worth the wait. Mind you, I'm still disappointed that there weren't any dragons though. (Raken don't count -:))

Like so many other fans, I was really saddened by RJ’s untimely passing, but then unexpectedly delighted that BWS took up the mighty challenge of finishing the series - and that he's doing such a fantastic job.

I know RJ was fond of telling fans 'RAFO' in regard to so many plot spoiler type questions - but I wonder if Team Jordan have tasked themselves to look up all previous RJ RAFO comments, and are trying to ensure that by the time Amol is published, that fans who posed all these old questions can finally RAFO their answers!
Dr. Thanatos
37. eckenboy
Summer of '94 was when I first read EotW. I was looking for something to read on my day off and one of my roommates said try this. He was on the second book already. I blew through the three book he had only to find out it wasn't a trilogy...OMG. So up until KoD, when the publishing date was set, I would start rereading the entire serires. I an on pins and needles just waiting for the grand finale and Sanderson is doing a bang up job, much kudos! It is decided that I will read from EotW to the conclusion. I am so looking forward to it.
BTW..the waiting between publishings has been like a run across the Three Fold Land to Rhuidean.
Dr. Thanatos
38. joliet jake blues
Well, I was put onto the books by an ex- back in 1993. Having introduced her to fantasy, she turned me onto WOT. I was able to read up to TSR pretty much straight away: the triple climax at the end of TSR remains one of the best things I have read, and there are any number of WOT moments that just blow me away.

"You belong to the Great Lord of the Dark" said by a turning fade to Rand - that scene has always stuck in my mind.

For a while - a long long time ago now, back about 1997 - I was active on the Druid's discussion boards, and then what followed out of that. Never so much usenet etc, but to Wise One Bair, Noire, Shadowkiller, and a host of others, I hope life has been kind to you.

And to think that soon (in terms of the last 18 years) it will all be over.
Larry Scroggins
39. LeisureSuitLarry
This book is the reason I now have a 3 strikes rule.

I don't remember where I got the paperback, but I remember reading the first couple of chapters and putting it down. I didn't expect to come back to it. A month or so later, after a few Star Trek novels, I had nothing left in the house to read and no money to get something new, so I gave it a shot. I think I got all the way to the fourth chapter that time before I bailed and re-read LotR. Finally, in the spring of 1991 when I was truly desperate for something new I made it to Baerlon and never looked back.

Don't ask me how, but at some point in the middle I LOST my book! I drove to the nearest store (B.Dalton) but all they had was the trade paperback for 2x the price of the mass market. I wanted to finish the story so bad that I plunked down my hard earned (aka, generously donated from mom) cash and thought, "Taco Bell has cheap tacos, I can still eat this week." I've never regretted it.

I finished EotW and immediately went back to the store for tGH. Once again I had to settle for a trade paperback. I still remember the disappointment when I realized that the next one in the series wasn't out and the chill that hit me when I wandered past WaldenBooks around Thanksgiving and saw the beautiful Dragon Reborn cover waiting for me to take it home.

I don't get the same thrill these days, but release day is almost a holiday for me. I take the day off. I tell everyone not to bother me. I leave the computer alone and I power through the new book fast then take a long slow second read.

As for the 3 strikes rule, since then it's only failed me one time: Gardens of the Moon.
Jay Dauro
40. J.Dauro
I am a latecomer to WOT. I started SF & F early in Junior High (that's what it was called in 1966, now, at least here, you would say Middle School.) Read pretty voraciously, but never connected with WOT.

In 2004 I startedusing a treadmill a lot, and wanted audiobooks to keep me from falling asleep. Cleaned out most of the authors I knew at the library, and saw New Spring. Looked interesting, but I asked my niece, (since I was fairly sure she had read it), and got a glowing recommendation, along with a warning. But at the time, I welcomed the idea of around 300 hours of audio, so away I went. So I thought, until I found that one was out-of-print as an Audiobook (POD, I think) Actually had to read it.

Since then I have read them all, listened to them multiple times, and gotten into the interwebs.

I will have finished another complete reread by the end of this year, and be ready for AMOL. Then of course, start from the beginning to see what RJ foreshadowed that I had missed.
Dr. Thanatos
41. markerikson
I was a diehard Eddings fanatic in 1994, aged 12 or 13, and convinced that there was no way anybody else could write better fantasy.

My best friend at the time wanted to outdo me in reading ability (as part of some sort of teenage contest of nerdiness or something) and borrowed the thickest fantasy book available from the school library, tEotW, and carried it around for a couple of weeks, flaunting that he was a bigger geek than me.

Then he returned it and admitted to me that the book was "boring" and he hadn't read past chapter 4.

Determined to outdo him, I borrowed the book myself with the intention of at least reading through to chapter 5.

Chapter 5 is "Winternight".
Dr. Thanatos
42. janele
RIP James Oliver Rigney. I still remember the shock of finding out we had lost you 4 years ago today.

I admit it took me a while to even bother to buy your book. I passed on it several times throughout the late 80s/early 90s. At that time, I had just finished Eddings and knew I wanted serial fantasy. By the time I finished Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, I was hooked on finding fantasy series that weighed a brick.

Fires of Heaven had just come out in hardcopy. But the "heaven" part of the title mislead me into thinking it was akin to the "Left Behind" series. So, I attempted other long-forgotten authors. It took several visits later to look at FOH to figure out that it was a fantasy series. I thumbed through EoTW but was not instantly impressed. But I bought it, anyways.

I tried reading EotW. At least 5 times over the next few months. But I could never get past the first few dozen pages. One day, I was sick and couldn't go to sleep. I picked up EoTW and tried again. When Moiraine twirled her staff and told off the Two Rivers folk, I felt a good chill, and it was not from my cold. I finished it that night.

By the end of the month, I had raced through the first 4 books. I was hesitant about buying TFoH im hardcopy, since the other books were in paperback and a quarter of the price. But this was the beginning of buying the books in hardcover for me.

Thank you, JOR/RJ, for giving me nearly 2 decades of excellent writing.
Dr. Thanatos
43. Dajoran
When I was but an 11 year old drip of a boy, I recall standing in the SF/F section of the school library... what drew me to it was that it contained all the books that my elder brother read!!

'Awesome!!' thinks I.

So, I picked up the first one I recognised and brought it home with me that day and read and read and read... and I thought to myself... why the hell (it was probably a more age appropriate explitive) does this sound like it's the middle of a story when it quite clearly says 'Book One of the Mallorean' on the cover.

At this point my elder brother noticed my folly and, being cool and understanding and not at all laughing at my expense, went to fetch me 'Book One of the Belgariad' from his voluminous collection.

Alas, both boy hero and aged mage were defeated as he realised that his inadequate shelving system had left him in the middle of a forest equipped only with a missing metaphor.

Being the helpful little whelp I was, I picked up the first book I seen with 'Book One' engraved on the side...

"Is this it??" I chanted with successful glee.

"Hmmm... no thats the first book of the Wheel of Time..." spake he "... thats much to involved for you..."

"What do you mean??" I cried "I'll understand it... it can't be that hard... it's just wizards!"...

And now here we are... Seventeen years later, and still no wizards; but, like Leigh's post above, a personal game changing experience, that to this day has left a lasting impression on my life.

Requescate In Pace - Mr. Rigney

...I often wonder what would have happened if I had picked up a Mills & Boon book instead...
Bill Reamy
44. BillinHI
I am also one of the real late-comers to the series, having gotten started in 2006 or so, after having read a multitude of (mostly hard) SF for more years than I care to admit (okay, I started in the 50's when I was in grade school and high school). I had read LotR several times by then, but don't ask me how I got started on that one, because I really don't remember now.

A friend gave me the paperback of EotW along with a very good recommendation that I read at least the first 100-150 pages before I made up my mind as to whether I liked it or not. An excellent idea, as it turned out. I immediately started looking on Amazon for the hardbacks and found them all (all but one with the DKS covers, which I hate!). I only had to wait for TGS and ToM (and, of course, AMoL) and cannot imagine what it would have been like to wait for as many books as most of you have.

I have re-read the books a few times now, and have just started on a re-listen of the audio books. I did do New Spring first and am only a couple chapters into EotW so far, but really looking forward to the rest!
Nadine L.
45. travyl
I found Wheel of Time just last year, specifically looking for a "long" SF series (having completed sword of truth).
I enjoyed EotW and read straith on, completing TGS about a week before ToM came out, so it's not hard to guess that I can recommend the books.

This years is the first time I have to wait for a book. And so far I spent the time well: I've just completed my re-read of the series, simultaneously reading leigh's comments to give me all the facts that I missed. In fact lately I found myself re-reading and "wondering" how leigh will react to the scene (which is kind of fun itself (hmm)).

I can't wait for leigh to start the reread of the TGS (next week right?), since now I can praticipate in the re-read until AMoL comes out.
Dr. Thanatos
46. Kaimei
By chance, I saw a favourable review of "The Eye of the World" in my city's newspaper back in 1990. Sweet's cover was there, and I probably noticed the review because a fantasy review was an uncommon sight in a newspaper. I went to the local library, and the trade paperback wasn't where it was supposed to be. Luckily, my eye caught sight of it lying flat on top of the shelf of books elsewhere.

I became hooked. I remember seeing the trade paperback of "The Great Hunt" -- by chance -- on display at that same library a little time later (I believe the first two books both came out in 1990). The first hardcover book I ever bought was "The Dragon Reborn," which I came across -- by chance! -- while browsing a bookstore (again, luckily it was on display).

I also remember that, in 1992 when I started reading the "The Shadow Rising" (not by chance; I deliberately looked for the book this time), I got about 100 pages in and realized that I hadn't been paying enough attention to the details, so I stopped and went back to reread the first three novels before continuing with the fourth.

Anyway, I believe this series saved my life during my post-secondary years, as I didn't end up having a good university experience; whenever I felt down, "The Wheel of Time" kind of kept me sane. When I did a year of college in another city, I hauled my hardcovers with me; I had to have them close!

And here it is, over 20 years later, and I can't wait to see how it all ends.
Michael Davies
47. TheWeatherman
I´m long time reader of sf/fantasy having read Asimov et al in the 60´s Zelazney & Moorcock in the 70's and LOTR about 5/6 times. During the 90´s dabbled with Discworld, and then found WOT. I now switch most of my non web reading between rereads of Discworld and WOT, having recently reread NS, TGS and TOM in a few weeks, easy being retired et al.
The imagery in WOT is superb, although I do get bored with some of the character building, but I would recommend the series as it is head and shoulders above anything else on the shelves.
The best thing about rereads is you can ignore some of the chapters or resequence them, and always reread the preceding book before you start the new one.
Boyd Meier
48. bwmeier
Boggle. Leigh, that very well may have been me. That's certainly something I did many times in that very bookstore, which was where I picked up my first copy all the way back in 1989. Even if it wasn't, it still goes to show how much impact a casual recommendation can have. Ah, memories...
Charles Gaston
49. parrothead
Grr, once again I miss all the good stuff.

Summer of 1996, a rising 8th grader, had just moved to a new town (the college town thriving metropolis of Laramie, Wyoming), and didn't know anyone yet, so I was looking for books. I had seen the covers in bookstores of course, and thought they looked interesting, at least in subject matter; we all know how innaccurate they are...But this time I actually took a long look at the praise, which read like a who's who of my favorites at the time. So I picked it up, it slowly drew me in, and by the time Rand got to Caemlyn this Arthurian fanatic was hooked. The world was incredibly detailed, the characters were interesting, the prose was descriptive, it had a lot of really good themes and really good moments, it was the total package. I've read a lot of fantasy, especially in those early teenage years, but nothing can compare to this amazing series which I count as one of the greatest influences on my life.

And, for the none of you who are interested, those influences in order of my personal discovery of them:
Jimmy Buffett
Star Wars
Calvin & Hobbes
The Legend of Zelda
The Wheel of Time
The Simpsons
Blade Runner
The Clash
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
50. tnh
I was the Managing Editor (head of production) at Tor when The Eye of the World was published. Tom Doherty told us all that this was going to be the next big thing in fantasy, and he was right, as he so often is.

Tom also told us it was going to be a six-book series -- guaranteed, the author already knew exactly how it ended. We all know how that worked out.

= = =

Tor was one of the first trade publishers to have a website, which we saw as a logical extension of our existing Gopher server. This was back before most people knew the web existed. We cooked up that first Tor website in Editorial -- by then I'd switched departments -- without asking anyone's permission. It just seemed like a cool thing to do. Then came the month when THE WORLD WIDE WEB was the cover story on half the magazines on the newsstands. Suddenly, we were the focus of the corporate eye ...

For a while I was the person who answered the site's email. Some staple topics:
-- When is Robert Jordan's next book coming out? Isn't there something you can do to him to make him write faster?

-- How do you submit books to Tor?

-- There was this story I read years and years ago and I can't remember the author or title, but , and can you tell me what it was?

-- I know you have Robert Jordan books, and are just delaying them so you can get more money out of us -- you fiends!

-- Did you get my manuscript? How is it doing?

-- When is George R. R. Martin's next book coming out?

-- Help! The cover is falling off my trade paperback!

-- Is it true that Robert Jordan is dead/dying and you're hired to finish the series? I'm really upset! I love those books!
I cheerfully identified works never published by Tor, pointed out our submission guidelines, directed readers to the webpage that showed how to glue the cover back onto a Robert Jordan trade paperback, told them that the law severely limits the things a publisher can do to an author, and explained that (a.) Tor didn't publish George R. R. Martin, and (b.) Bantam didn't seem to know either.

That last question that got to me, though, because I saw it so often, and because the readers sounded so distressed. This was well before Jim Rigney became ill. Some person or persons out there were just making up stories to troll the Jordan fans.

After a while I couldn't take it any more, so I dropped in on the r.a.s.f.r-j newsgroup. When I introduced myself, I was, for the first and only time in all my years online, challenged to prove my identity. I was nonplussed until I remembered that there'd been a problem with some guy who'd shown up there claiming to be Patrick. I think I "proved" my identity by sending one of the regulars a letter from my personal email account.

The deal I made with r.a.s.f.r-j was that when there was real news -- a title, a publication date, a delivered manuscript, or (god forbid) a real illness -- I'd tell r.a.s.f.r-j about it first. If they hadn't heard it, it wasn't news. The arrangement was satisfactory, and greatly reduced both the email queries and the number of wild stories in circulation. That was what prompted me to write the first Tor FAQ.

Another sideshow was the more-or-less annual craziness when the new Robert Jordan novel actually came out. For a few years there we were posting the first chapters on the Tor website a few days before the books came out. Jordan's fans came to expect it, so when we were coming up on the publication date we'd get users nosing around in our directories.

I was the one who rendered the opening chapter into HTML. As our last step before taking it public, I'd put it up as an unlinked page so we could check how it looked in different browsers. I swear, from the point at which that page went up, you'd have to use a stopwatch to time how long it took Jordan's fans to get hold of it. We didn't mind. If anyone deserved to get first crack at it, they did.
Cynthia Ahmar
51. tenkuu
I might have mentioned this before, but I believe it was sometime in-between The Path of Daggers and Winter's Heart, probably in about 1998 or 1999, that I discovered the series. I went to an all-girls high school, and it is divided in two sides: english and french. I was on the french side. I would always pick Music as my choice class, year after year. And one year, it turned out that the english and french sides had mixed Music classes. There was this girl on the english side who played the clarinette who would always read this book (The Eye of the World) right before class began and during mini-breaks. Since the cover looked interesting I went to ask her what it was, and that was the beginning of my interest in both Jordan's books and fantasy.
Dr. Thanatos
52. dxnova
My daughter started the series before I did. For some reason, I asked her "Are there any strong women in that book?" I still don't know why I didn't want to read it unless there were. Of course, her answer was yes. What an understatement! The women are great in this book, more than almost any other fantasy book that I have read except for The Fall of Ile-Rien by Martha Wells.
Each one has her own personality and the character development is phenomenal, especially for the women from Emond's Field.
53. kaazar
i started reading Wot in 1999 in france. i was looking for something to read at the english bookstore and EotW caught my eye. i bought it and read the book in 3 days(for referance i was nine at the time so this was quite the feat)! i imediatly went back to the bookstore for a second taste and to my dismay, they didn't have book two. to anxious to wait for two months to get back to the states i bought 3, 4 and 5, the only other ones they had . since then ive reread the books every time a new one comes out (yes that is quite a lot of reading im aware), so i must have read the first 8 books at least 6 times each, if not more. i remember having to go out and buy a second copy of EotW when my first copy statred falling apart from overreading and lending to friends. it remains the only book i have ever worn out. since then i have spread the wonders of Wot to countless friends and even had an hour long conversation on the bus with a random stranger i saw reading one of the books, LoC i think. while distraught when i heard that RJ had died i was excited to hear that Sanderson was going to finish the series. he has done a great job of not bringing his style of writing fully into the series and staying true to what we knew and loved. cant wait to wee how the whole thing finishes.
Dr. Thanatos
54. Jaimie Krycho
It's WoT that convinced me I wanted to be a novelist after all, and now I'm graduated from college with a BA in professional writing, editing my first fantasy novel. Robert Jordan is something of a hero of mine.

I'm so glad my husband and his friends were such big fans of WoT. If I read the first book by my own random choice, I might have (impatient woman I am) given up on the series. However, I was so annoyed that I didn't understand the conversations my hubby and his friends were having that I plowed through, and soon, I was lost!
Dr. Thanatos
55. Norsehound
I started reading the series when I was in high school. My older brother and I would each get $100 in gift certificates to Barnes and Noble every Christmas. Then we would spend the week after Christmas combing through the aisles of the sci-fi/fantasy section looking for that special series that would get us the most for our money.

Now, my other love in the reading world is epic fiction. The Illiad and Odyssey will always hold a special place in my heart and the Wheel of Time series was a nice cross between my two literary loves. I think the series was up to book 4 by that time and, among our other loot, we nabbed the beginning of the series.

Wow. Every time another book came out, I would reread the entire series so far. Now, my Eye of the World is in tatters and I'm having a hard time contemplating its replacement. It's still my favorite, though I do love the books at the end when Mat gets really funny. Perrin's funnier in the first books and the girls are hilarious through pretty much the entire series so far.

These are definitely the most well- and oft-read books in my library except maybe for The Count of Monte Christo....
Dr. Thanatos
56. Sage1024
It was January, 1997, and I was browsing through the book section of the new Hasting's Entertainment store that had just come to town. I was looking for a new fantasy series to get started on, preferably a long one with a high page count so that it would last me a while, given my tendency to tear through books less than 400 pages in a single day. Two books caught my eye that day: one was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and the other was The Eye of the World.

I'm afraid I must admit I was having trouble deciding between them. The problem was that there was very little information to go on; I had never heard of either series before, and I had no friends who shared my interest in extremely long fantasy novels to get opinions from. The crux of the matter was that The Sword of Shannara had a synopsis on the back, and clearly had magic swords, one of my favorite staples of fantasy. TEotW, on the other hand, had nothing on the back but a list of books in the series and a cryptic, yet intriguing, quote: "The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time." And yet, for some reason I kept going back to this thick, mysterious book with its strangely compelling writing.

At this point, unable to make a decision, I went to my mom to get her opinion. Not that she liked or understood fantasy novels, but she could usually be counted on to have good advice for her thirteen year old son. She didn't disappoint this time either, her response being "Why don't you buy both?" Not about to argue with this unanticipated bit of good fortune, I bought both. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Finding Robert Jordan's books couldn't have come at a better time for me; 1997 was the worst year of my life, and sometimes I think the only reason I came through more or less intact was because of those books. At my lowest point that year I begged my mom to get me Lord of Chaos, because I desperately needed that escape, to visit a place where things could get better. Looking back, it was pretty ironic that I was searching for a better place in LoC; its not exactly the poster child for happy places, is it? But it was still what I needed. It was a window to another realm which, while bounded by a stiff hardback cover, still managed to give a glimpse of a panoramic vista of another world, painted not with ink and brush, but with words. For this, and for so many moments of happiness, laughter, anger, sadness, and yes, tragedy,
Thank You Robert Jordan.
Happy Birthday.
Dr. Thanatos
57. RASpreier
I forget exactly when I first read Eye of the World but I do know that it started an obsession. I own every book in the series and after book 6 have re-read the entire series before reading the newest one.

To put it simply, this was my first real epic fantasy series and it will always hold a special place in my heart (I should hope so, given that one of my tattoos in WoT inspired!).

RIP Robert Jordan.
Leigh Butler
58. leighdb
bwmeier @ 48:

Boggle. Leigh, that very well may have been me.

Ha! Wouldn't that be something?
Dr. Thanatos
59. Doug T
I picked up the Eye of the World back when it first came out, although if I'd known at the time how long the series was going to be, I'd probably have held off. But I had read several of Jordan's previous Conan books and thought they were top notch, and was excited that this promising author was getting the chance to try his hand at something more ambitious.

And I wasn't disappointed, at least not for a long time. The layers of complexity and plot momentum and scope kept building, with the story getting stronger and stronger through the first 4 books.

I followed the series as the books came out through the first 8, but I started to lose interest with book 6. In my personal opinion Jordan had pretty definitely lost his way with books 7 and 8, and by the time a Winter's Heart came out, I decided I'd wait until the series was over before reading any more. Now that the end is almost here, I'll be going back and re-reading the whole from the start. Hopefully the ending will do justice to the set up, and redeem the rather muddled middle.
Colleen Palmer
60. arianrose
When I found TEotW, I didn't know it was a series at all. Really.

It was 1995, and I was in the airport waiting for an international flight that was going to take me to Europe for the first time - and I didn't have a book with me. (To this day, I do not know how that came to pass.)

I went into the airport bookstore and began scanning for anything I - a dedicated fantasy fan - would read. Even at 18, I knew airport bookstores weren't likely to carry anything but bestsellers and those, to my jaundiced eye, were nearly always mysteries.

But they did have a few. I can't remember the others, but I remember TEotW sitting there looking nice and fat and like it would hold up to a few days worth of reading.

I finished it in the middle of Italy. I didn't know until I turned the last page that it was a series. You probably could have heard my howl of frustration stateside.

When I returned home, I devoured what was out. I believe the first I had to wait for the TPoD, and true to the theory, it remains my least favorite.

Oddly, I never found the Usenet group, but stumbled on the FAQ pretty early on, as well as Theoryland's first design - when you had to pick the WOT portal or ... something else? I don't recall what else was there.

I've been lurking at the edges of fandom ever since.
DA Ford
61. Ford75
TEOTW wasn't the first WOT book I read, nor the one that drew me in.

I first started reading WOT in '96-'97 - with a tattered copy of The Dragon Reborn that had been rescued from a used book store closing down. It took a little bit to get into it, and hinted at all that had already happened in the first two books, but it's definately a strong book for two of my favourite characters, Perrin and Nynaeve. I quickly devoured it and went searching for the rest of the books in the series. And everytime a new book came out would prompt a reread of the entire series.

And those old paperbacks - I can't remember how many times I've bought copies of each of them because of the covers falling off, and the binding comign undone. That was when I decided I must have this series in Hard Cover (I do still need to track down first printings of TDR and TSR)!

I do know WOT let me to my first forrays into internet fandom, and the chat rooms and boards - I never was really at the ... but I discovered the FAQ fairly quickly, and used to hang out at wotist/wotism and totally devoured everythign Wheel of Time.

I remember RJ when RJ went on a book signing for Winter's Heart, we drove to Seattle (from Vancouver, BC) to have him sign books. Being so excited for it - we were actually the first ones in line there, but because we'd bought our books in Canada (and not at that bookstore) we had to wait for the "Pre-ordered" people to go through. But because we were so dedicated (and the only ones sitting to the side watching and waiting for our turn) the staff at the store set aside extra swag for us and we got a little extra time at the end.
Tricia Irish
62. Tektonica
I, too, came late to the series. I'd been a SciFi reader since high school/college, but had abandoned all books for years due to moving to NYC after grad school, and work. Then marriage and kids took over my life. (I don't no how so many of you, whom I have met, can both raise kids and read!) Having kids rendered me the attention span of a gnat. If I stopped moving long enough to relax, I'd read a paragraph, and go to sleep.

The summer my son was 12, we drove cross-country, and I had the brain storm to buy The Hobbit on tape, to help pass the hours. We loved it, and bought tLotR in Denver, before hitting the mountains. The summer was spent in Middle Earth. I loved Fantasy!

After that summer, probably around 2004-5, I started trolling the Fantasy section at B&N, discovering several series, most of which were pretty formulaic and not particularly well written. Decent distractions. When I discovered tEotW, I thought it was just another one, until I was about half way through----I was hooked. Ideas, History, a fully realized World, complete Characters, good Writing! I plowed through all the published books, then discovered the internet groups, primarily, this one.

Leigh, and this reread group, have opened up a whole new world for me. I don't know a another soul, where I live, that reads Fantasy. But, i've met so many intelligent, interesting, funny, erudite people on this site! I have made a whole new group of friends from Leigh's reread, at Jcon, on FB, etc., that share my interests and exchange ideas.

Thank you Leigh, Tor, technology, and most of all, Mr. James Rigney, etal. It is a very special work that can engender so much interest and conversation. I anxiously await the finale!
I remember buying the Eye of the World simply because the name sounded cool. I read an article about Robert Jordan in the Washington Post, which has a section for book reviews. And as I was a fan of symbology, the logo for the Wheel of Time intrigued me. It's sort of the same way I buy music. If a band can't put any thought into a name for their band, what makes you think they'll put any thought into their music?

Anyway, I bought it and was floored by its pace and flow. The ending wasn't impressive, but the entirety of the book was so good, that I immediately went and bought the next book, The Great Hunt. I devoured it in a day and a half and was saddened to have to wait for the next book to go to press. 3 months later and yes... I was hooked from then on.

Love you, Robert! Though I never met you. You have given me many reasons to want to experience another day, just so I can lose myself in your dreams.


Dr. Thanatos
64. Corneus
I was into hard SF, none of this fantasy stuff for me! Until some cross-over authors got their claws into me, that is. Next thing I know we moved to a small (small!) town and the "bookstore" was a counter at the back of the Sears catalogue order pickup, which was itself at the back of the bait-shop. Small town, you know.

Anyway, I started ordering all these fantastical titles from the local place, and the next thing I know I'd struck up a friendship with the owner, who turned out to be a cool guy and a substitute teacher at my new school. Nobody was doing too much reading in Hicksville, and somehow he ended up with an ARC of tEotW which luckily got passed on to me.

My SF brain scoffed at the silliness. I mean, I'd read Lord of the Rings, but just because you *had* to, you know, to be well-rounded. I was a hard-headed military sci-fi action space-opera man! I flipped it open just for fun, sitting there in the back-seat of the car on our way out of town to the ol' rural homestead. Well, that 15 minute car ride was the quickest it had ever been, and by the time the engine was off I was well and truly hooked.

Waiting and waiting for the next book, and the next, and the next! I would take 2 days off work whenever a book was published, lock my door and take the phone off the hook. I made the mistake of heading out of town to visit a friend for the weekend when tDR came out... Spent the whole visit in his rec room and just about had a fit when Moiraine was, well, written out for a while. Never been that emotionally involved with the written word no matter what I'd been reading.

Years passed, the internet came along, I visited the newsgroup and threw my own theories out, argued with real-life friends, grew up, got married, had kids, and still kept reading these "old friends" of my childhood. When I visited Dragonmount randomly one day and saw the news that RJ had passed it hit me as strongly as if it were a close friend.

Brandon has done a great job of taking up the torch. While we all wish RJ had been around to write them, Brandon made the right decision, I think, to not slavishly try and copy his tone. When I read that the "one more" book was going to be three, it was like having RJ back all over again. Yes, it's been *awful* waiting, but after 21 years I'm patient, and more than anything glad that this wonderful story wasn't rushed and mishandled.

Thanks RJ for all the enjoyment over the years, and thank-you Brandon for having the courage to face the challenge, and us.
Drew Holton
65. Dholton
I didn't read EotW until 1994, because I had been actively resisting doing so. Not because I had anything against Robert Jordan, but because, frankly, I was completely put off by the Darrell K Sweet cover.

I'm a long time F&SF reader, so I could recognize a Sweet cover at a glance, and this was a typical one with figures carved out of wood in stock medieval costumes from the local high school theater. Anyway, in the classic mistake of judging a book by it's cover, I assumed the book itself was just as generic. ( I should say here that I did like Sweet's covers from earlier on, but as time passed it seemed like he just kept repeating the same old same old.)

It wasn't until a couple of years later that I fell victim to the Most Evil Marketing Ploy of All Time (MEMPOAT), when Tor (TOR!!! he shouts, shaking fist in his best Colbert imitation...) released a special free edition of only the first half of EotW. Well. Fine. If you're giving it away free, I suppose I could at least give it a try. I knew full well I was falling for MEMPOAT, but eh, what the hell.

I won't say that the rest was history at that point, because frankly EotW is one of my least liked of the series (The middle drags, and the ending is confusing, to me at least). But it was good enough to make me make me (sigh) buy the full edition, and then move on to the next in the series, TGH.

Where suddenly, we're back to our characters in a Shienaran fortress locked up with darkfriends, Aes Sedai scheming, Black Ajah, and Rand getting just a hint of what it meant to be the Dragon Reborn. Then...then I was lost.
LT Tortora
66. Lucubratrix
It was the summer of 1994, between 7th and 8th grade, and I was on the way to a vacation cottage with my parents and a friend. We stopped at a bookstore, and in addition to whatever else I bought, I picked up one of the free samples of TEotW. My friend was not terribly impressed, but I was hooked. Once I got home, I went to the library and checked out the entire series published to that point. I will admit that there were times when reading some of the middle books became a bit of a chore, but of course I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't cared enough to see how it would all end. During a recent rough spot, the only book that could even hold my attention for more than about 15 seconds was ToM. I read it in a day. I'm glad I happened to pick up the freebie with the questionable cover, and grateful for the enjoyment I've gotten out of the series.
Brett Michie
67. bchurch
I first saw tEotW on a bookstore shelf in hardback format in what must have been January or Febuary of 1990. Unable to purchase it at the time, I salivated over it's wonderful cover art, imagining, in vain, what a unique story by one of my favorite Conan authors must be like. I didn't actually purchase the book until the following September, at which point it was in paperback. The story was beyond my hopes and expectations, I quickly became obsessed.
I've lost count of the times I've re-read this book and it's sequels. I've lost count of the people I've recommended the series to. In the twenty plus years since I discovered this world, it has been my refuge, my mental playground, and a huge part of my life.
I am very grateful to Mr. Jordan for sharing his vision. Indeed, he has eriched my life, and for that I have toh.
Valentin M
68. ValMar
I saw the books vaguely in the english section of a bookstore in Switzerland. Didn't like the maps so didn't buy them. Back then didn't know to look at the maps of the latter books in a series- maps often improve.
Went back home for Christmas '98 and saw in a daily paper a 1-2 sentence "review" + tiny b/w picture. Few days later in the Book Market in centre of town (yep- dozens of stalls with any and all kinds of books and pirate software/dvd/music, instead of fruit & veg) I saw the EOTW, freshly out in BG.
Decided to buy it. The guy selling it said that it was the 1st in a series of 6! TPOD was already out I think :) So I read TEOTW in Bulgarian and the rest in English.
It was a bit weird reading TGH for the 1st time. Egveen became Egwene...

R.I.P. James

PS, I don't know about now, but 12 years ago the American bookstore in Geneva had a mighty Si-Fy section. Maybe worth checking out if someone's lucky enough to find themsleves there.
Dr. Thanatos
69. Jonellin Stonebreaker
Darryl Sweet is to blame for my WOTmania, but not in the way that you would think.

I was primarily a hard SF & cyberpunk reader (Bruce Sterling & Orson Scott Card my favorite authors, Glen Cook's The Black Company series the only fantasy series I ever really liked) when I first came across TEOTW in a Barnes & Noble in 1992 in the discounted books section.

That inimitable (thank God!) cover art made me think that I knew all I had to know about this work, so I read the blurb and passed on, giving nary a thought for several years.

I would see the books every now and then in bookstores and libraries but they never called to me.

In July of 1997, I stopped by my local library one Saturday when they were having a book sale, and as it happened, there was a complete( I know, I know!!) set, a full trade paperback double trilogy that looked brand new, of that fantasy series I had been seeing but not bothering with for the last 5 years.

As each book was only $1.00, I said to myself, "Why not? Worst comes to worst, I could package them and give them to a young cousin of mine who loved that medieval fantasy...

I actually put them away on the top shelf of my bookshelf that summer.

The day after Thanksgiving, I had just finished reading She is the Darkness and was in the mood for something else in the fantasy vein. I recalled the series I had purchased and said to myself that I really should give the books a once over just to assure myself that they weren't completely juvenile drivel before wrapping them up to give as a gift.
By Sunday night, I finished TEOTW, and by the middle of December, I had completed TDR, and suffice it to say that that year, Nadia got a CD Walkman!

By President's Day, I put down LOC, went to the bookstore and bought
ACOS , and from that time until now, I would go out and buy each new book the week it was released.

It actually changed the way I perceived the fantasy genre ; that concentrated dose really hooked me and led me to read other series, but I honestly think that in the future TWOT will be regarded as a masterpiece of the genre.
70. Ferolakra
My sister actually got me into the Wheel of Time. One of her friends had given her Eye of the World. It was a ratty copy, folded and torn pages.

The Epilogue dragged a bit for me then started pulling me in, and before I knew it I was done and at the bookstore to buy the next eleven books. (Got into the WoT late what can I say)
Dr. Thanatos
71. jwe
"I know it's not your usual thing, but why not give it a try."

Thanks, TJD ;)
Mike McD
72. msmcdon
I found WoT in the summer of '98, just before I started high school. I was out in California visiting my sister, who was in grad school at UC Santa Barbara. Since I had a lot of spare time on my hands while she and her boyfriend (now husband!) were at work during the days, they let me get a book from the bookstore.

Of course, I was totally a sci-fi and fantasy geek, so I went straight to that section, and some combination of the sheer size of that book and that wonderful cover pulled me in. I think I still liked the Sweet covers until Lord of Chaos, which I to this day am embarrassed to carry around because it looks like a romance novel.

Of course, I didn't know it was part of a series! I finished the book within a day or two of buying it, then realized there was more and begged to go back to get tGH and tDR. When I got home to Michigan I read all the way up through aCoS. That fall tPoD came out and I bought it in hardcover, and I've been waiting for books ever since. Every year around Christmas I find myself pulling out tEotW to read in front of the fireplace, imagining taking the apple brandy to town and watching for a rider in black trailing behind with a cloak the wind doesn't touch.

Around 2001 I discovered Wotmania, and lurked there for years as 1/4StaffWielder. In '07 I was returning from a trip to Italy for a conference and my ex-girlfriend called me when I connected at La Guardia en route to Detroit to tell me Robert Jordan had passed away. What a shock and a shame. Sir, you are still missed.
Ron Garrison
73. Man-0-Manetheran
I first came upon WOT at the remainders table at Barnes & Noble. The book was Lord of Chaos. I've always been drawn to thick books, and this one caught my eye. "Volume 6, eh? Now that's a THICK book. Must be quite a story to get this far along." Deciding to check it out, I picked up Eye of the World at the Denver Public Library. I was hooked instantly. I got on Amazon and found the next five at ridiculous closeout prices and bought them all. I've waited for each new book ever since.
Dr. Thanatos
74. emmyloo03
It's a bit hazy for me but I'm pretty sure a friend suggested Eye of the World to me in high school , which would have been about '97 or '98, maybe '96. As I said, it's hazy ;)
I think I blasted through the first 4 or 5, and by then I caught up and had to wait. I estimate that I've done about 4-5 rereads throughout the series up to and including this last one, that has taken me 7 months (!).
I just bought Towers of Midnight YESTERDAY at B&N and the girl at the counter was like "Oh my that's a thick book" *airhead voice and a metaphorical hair twirl thrown in for emphasis*
and I responded, "Yep and it's #13 in a series" *cheerfully snarky voice*
I get asked about the books all the time, since the cover art and sheer size draws the eye so well, and I love launching into this huge synopsis and history of the book and Jordan and how he passed away and that it's being finished by another author with Jordan's widow editing and how ROMANTIC I find the whole thing. *le sigh
I'm so excited to finish it next year, at the same time that I'm dreading it a little because then it will be over, much like Harry Potter fans were at the last film ;D.
I'm determined to get my mom to read them, as she was a HUGE fan of Lord of the Rings, but I should probably just hand her that lovely blue book, that I've had to cover in contact paper and iron the spine to re-attach that pesky cover instead of talking her ear off incesantly on our weekly walks. Cuz I'm probably confusing the hell out of her at this point :D
Dr. Thanatos
75. macster
I would have to check the publication years to know for sure when I got into the books and which ones were in print when I started. I know it was after I graduated college, though, and before I moved away from my home state of Iowa, which would put it between 1999 and 2002.

I had seen the books around the bookstores since high school, and The Eye of the World's cover always caught my eye, but I just was too busy to get into it--if not with schoolwork then with other books, since at the time I was reading Heritage of Shannara and had just started reading Eddings from the start of the Belgariad (after buying Sorceress of Darshiva by mistake solely for its cover instead of paying attention to what number in the series it was, and after doing the same thing with the Elenium when Sapphire Rose came out). Let me also say, by the way, that I still love both Brooks and Eddings as well as Jordan; to me they are like apples and oranges, not really able to be compared, each with their own flaws and strengths, and each very good if not always great.

Anyway, around the time Heritage finished and I had finally caught up with all the Eddings books, a friend of mine recommended WOT to me at our high school reunion; I believe at the time he was reading TDR. I started Eye of the World and was hooked immediately, both by the initial Tolkien similarities since I am a LOTR fan, and by how it diverged. And I've loved them all since and never looked back, even when I've driven people in my lives to distraction and even hatred of the series. (Luckily I learned to curb that fanboying impulse, and one of those who hated it the most was able to give it another chance recently. And thanks to Leigh's re-read blog, he's finally loving it!)

When I first learned of Robert Jordan's illness I was admittedly very worried, and part of me was sure he was going to die before finishing the series. But then KOD came out, and he seemed to be doing so well, and fighting his illness with such strength and courage, so I thought I'd been premature. And we know what happened then. Still, it is amazing how far he got, and what he did create, and I am so grateful he did get to write, dictate, take notes, and make recordings and tale-tellings to get the story down in some form before the end, and that someone as good as Sanderson is finishing it for us. I am a Harry Potter fan, was in incredible frenzied anticipation for Book 7 (and was not at all disappointed)...but I think AMOL is the most anticipated thing I've ever wanted to have and read.

Thanks so much for everything, Mr. Rigney. You will be missed, and remembered. Because after all, there are no endings or beginnings...
Dr. Thanatos
76. JimF
I have no remembrance of how I came to pick up tEotW. However I remember vividly the hair standing up on the back of my head while reading the story of Rand's return home with Tam and the ensuing events, and the flight from Two Rivers. I was hooked and read the books as fast as I could locate them, and then as fast as RJ could write them. I've read them front to back too many times to tell, and I even read tLoC to tEotW in reverse order.

Outside of The Lord of the Rings, no other series of books has ever captured my attention and fondness the way these books, with all their complexity, detail and great characters, did from the very first reading. I thank Mr. Jordan sincerely for the hours of pleasure he has given me, and I regret his untimely passing. He will be read and loved for a very long time.
Robert Crawley
77. Alphaleonis
I was introduced to the TEOTW by my son in 2007. I quickly read thru books 1-6 and then stopped. ( I was put off by all the gore in the Battle at Dumais Wells. I don't watch war movies, or any movies that depict graphic killing.) A year later, I reread book 6 and all the ones that had been published to that point. I have since read the entire series twice more, plus 5 or 6 rereadings of some of my favorite scenes.

Sometimes, I will at random pick up one of the books and skim till I get to a favorite scene, read it, skim again to another favorite, read it, skim again, etc. finishing the book in a day or two. Even my least favorite books in the series have enough favorite scenes to make this fun.

My son who introduced me to the series hs only read TEOTW, though he has read it twice. He plans to finish the series when the last book is publishes.

Evidence that I am the greatest WOT fan: A few weeks ago when a prognosticator was predicting the end of the world by a certain date, I said to my son "It can't, A Memory Of Light won't be out by then!"( And I meant it.)
Dr. Thanatos
78. Garfoofafuffel
Reading all of your comments (really. All 74!) was quite moving, so I decided to share mine.

In 7th grade, I didn't have many friends. One of the few I had recommended "The Eye of the World," and by 8th grade, my best friends were Rand, Perrin, and Mat. A lot of people enjoy epic fantasy for the escape of it, and God, was I one of those. I spent almost every night curled up with one of the Wheel of Time tomes, I read while I ate, I read during family car trips, I even read during class (that last habit led to a very awkward parent teacher conference, which I'll always remember because the teaching assistant, who had been quiet for the first 20 minutes of the conference, piped in at the end with, "In all fairness, they are spectacular books.")

These books gave me an escape I no longer need or crave. But they were there when I needed them and for that I'll be forever grateful to Robert Jordan. I recently embarked upon my last readthrough of the series in anticipation of Memory of Light, and I must say, the nostalgia and emotion involved in the prospect of finally finishing a journey I started so many years ago are palpable.

I wish I knew more people like myself who found a part of themselves in these pages; I suppose I should go to Dragon Con or whatever it's called some time.

Thank you all so much for sharing.
Dr. Thanatos
79. Dirt37
I had the luxury of being able to purchase Eye of the World in Billings MT at a Hastings book store. It was the book I took with me when I headed out to boot camp Feb 91. I was able to read about a 1/4 of it and then I was told to place it with my personal belongings. It was easier to place my cigarette habit on hold than give up the book. The thought of being able to finish once I was done gave me a real prize to look forward to. Throughout my entire career I can remember where I was, based on The Wheel of Time. Many very hard times were made bearable by starting off with a new book or holding on till the next. Also some cherished memories made more special. When I was a child I didn't understand my mothers tears at The Dukes passing or Elvis....but I cried when Robert passed and felt shame for wondering how the story would end. I am one of the fortunate who gets to find out in this age. Thank you to all who made it possible especially Mrs. Jordan.
Dr. Thanatos
80. JimF
Heh. The "this is good, you should read it" moment for me was actually The Hobbitt (which, when it was a rage item in the '60s I avoided like a plague). It was Christmas, I was a broke student with nothing to do, and an old friend gave the book to me, saying, well, you know. Two weeks later, I cried when Bilbo and Frodo set foot on that boat heading into The West. Since that time, I have been hooked on this genre - Shannara, Silmarrilion, etc. etc. Then in about 1995, prowling around the holdings of an incredible used-book dump of a place (no organization of much note of any kind) I picked up a book with a blue cover showing a full moon and some seeming princess and a giant warrior, and intrigued, I started reading. And kept reading. I once read from LoC to tEotW in redro esrever! I got my children and friends and nephew to read it (all at least persevered through aCoS, and one, the nephew, now reads copiously in the genre).

This has been a great literary trip, and I thank Mr. Jordan, Mr. Sanderson, Mrs. Jordan, Tor Books, and of course Leigh Butler, for their contributions to my great enjoyment and pleasure over many years. God bless you all.

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